Truecaller on Feature Phones is Coming to Africa, Soon


Truecaller has become one of the few apps that most smartphone users have installed and the app has users running into millions with the biggest market being India. Recently, the app has been making major improvements to its core functionality, including adding a payments option by simply scanning a phone number and also, improving on their monetization plan by adding various “creative” ways to serve ads to its users.

The developers of Truecaller have now turned their attention to Africa and the company is even planning on opening regional headquarters in the continent. For this reason, Priyam Bose, Director of Global Developer and Startup Relations at Truecaller, visited Nigeria scouting for a suitable location for their regional headquarters a well a launch Truecaller Software Development Kit (TrueSDK) in the country. During his visit, Mr Priyam spoke to and revealed that the company has big plans for Africa, including launching their Trucaller for feature phones service, starting with Nigeria.

“Spam call is not fully a smartphone phenomenon. Both a feature phone and smartphone user could be victimised. Spammers won’t distinguish and say “hey this is a smartphone user or feature phone user; let’s not spam”. Hence we’ve launched an extended service for those who do not have access to the internet. We are partnering with telecom operators like Airtel, to activate the service that allows feature phone users to also enjoy the Truecaller service and make more informed decisions on their communication. Currently, the feature phone USSD/SMS feature is live in India, we’ll launch it soon in Nigeria,” said Mr Priyam.

Trucaller for feature phones was first launched in India during the first quarter of 2017. The service is aimed at feature phone users that do not have access to an internet connection. Just as the Truecaller app identifies phone numbers on your smartphone, this basic functionality will be extended to feature phones. How will it work? The user will get a notification of who is calling, through a flash SMS before the call gets connected to the user’s phone.


In India, the service was launched through a partnership with Airtel and it was a subscription service, Mr Priyam did not reveal any information on whether they will use the same model in Nigeria, all he said is that the service will be launching soon.


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